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Forecast Favors Good Early Crop Development

Updated: 05/22/2014 @ 9:13am

Looking at the market this morning, it seems that corn and soybeans are staying above support levels with little visible impact from weather-related factors.

Over the next several days, these weather-market factors will be bearish for corn and soybeans as the jet stream deamplifies and allows for a long period of warmer-than-normal temperatures. Precipitation the next five days will also be near to below normal for much of the Midwest and Delta regions, with only spotty rain chances allowing for plenty of fieldwork opportunities. After so many months of below-normal temperatures and an active jet stream, why has the jet stream suddenly calmed down? Examining our teleconnections, the NAO, AO, and MJO are all in neutral territory, allowing for a more zonal transition in the jet stream and a more southerly flow of air into the central and northern U.S.

This pattern will continue for the next few weeks with a very consistent temperature pattern of near- to above-normal temperatures across much of the U.S. growing regions.

However, subtle features embedded within the jet stream will allow for increasing rain chances across the Plains, Midwest, and Delta regions later this week into parts of next week. For the six- to 10-day period, above-normal rainfall is forecast across the Plains and Delta with near-normal rainfall elsewhere. This will increase planting and fieldwork delays across some of the corn and bean regions, although some dry periods will allow for steady planting progress, especially across eastern areas.

Northern portions of the Midwest that are well behind schedule will likely see substantial planting progress the next few days with some decent planting weather expected next week. With warm temperatures, receding drought, and in most places very favorable soil moisture, growing conditions for newly planted crops will be very favorable over the coming weeks.

As El Niño conditions continue to develop over the coming weeks and months, more favorable weather should be in store for the Midwest Corn Belt with lighter rains favored across eastern areas and higher precip chances across the west.

Based on the current state of planting, soil moisture reserves, and the forecast ahead, it seems possible that national corn yields meet or exceed 168 bushels per acre this summer. Of course, one week of extreme heat alone can put a dent in yield potential, but very few signs currently exist that would support significant yield reductions.

Freese-Notis Weather/Weather Trades, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

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